Monday, July 7, 2008
hard at work
Last week, at one of my favorite places in the whole, wide world (the Target dollar spot!), I found some great and cheap stuff for the girls. They had just restocked, and they had tons of preschool workbooks and flashcards. Don't worry, mom, I know they are only three. The workbooks are, for the most part, for later. One book, though, had some tracing pages that I let them do the other day. They loved it! They loved sitting at their little trays "working." It was funny to see their little personalities come out while they worked. They reminded me of so many of the kids I taught. Catherine was the one who was too busy to stop and listen to directions. She heard me say, "follow the arrow and trace over the line," and before I knew it, she had finished three pages. Grace started out as the kid that just wanted to get to the end. It wasn't that she didn't care about doing a good job, she just wanted to do it fast. Once I convinced her to slow down, she turned into the perfectionist. I don't know where she gets that. She wanted to try over and over until it was right. If she tried, but couldn't do it perfectly, she didn't want to do it at all. Each day since then, they have wanted to "do some work." Catherine likes to draw circles to show Daddy, and Grace likes to draw straight lines. Lots and lots of straight lines. I'm happy to see that they like to sit and work. I'm actually happy to just see them sitting still and concentrating on something! I hope they will grow up loving to learn. I hope Grace doesn't lose her determination, but I hope she's also able to accept imperfection. I hope Catherine keeps her focus and motivation, but I also hope that she will remember that it's okay to accept help from others. In just a little over two years, the girls will be doing real work at school. TWO years? That can't be right! '08, '09, yep, 2010. In just a little over two years, they will be at school all day, five days a week. I'll have to send them off in the morning, and not see them again until the afternoon. (Except for the days that I go eat lunch with them, which will be all days ending in "y". No, I promise not to be that mom!) They will spend more time with their teachers than with me. (Unless I decide to go back to teaching so I can be their teacher! Just kidding. Umm...maybe.) I'm so thankful to have this time with them now. I'm thankful that, for right now, I get to be the one who is teaching them their letters, reading to them, and singing songs. Even on our bad days, I'm glad I'm the one disciplining them, teaching them right from wrong, and drying their tears. Before long, there will be a school nurse bandaging their skinned knees, and they will have new friends to tell knock-knock jokes to. They might even realize that minivans aren't cool! Until then, I'll remind myself to enjoy the time I have, and we'll make as many memories as we can.